2013 – 19th Scottish Borders Walking Festival

Hosted by Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Clovenfords

 

Robert Mathison Walk

From Traquair Kirk our route takes us westwards up the Glen to Glenshiel Banks (minor road/farm tracks). By moorland track we climb southwards to Blackhouse Forest, and thence by forest tracks to Blackhouse Tower. We return to Traquair Kirk along the Southern Upland Way. This walk ties in with Alastair Learmont’s talk on “Robert Mathison and the Innerleithen Alpine Club”.

Number 1.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Sunday 1st
Grade Harder
Distance 11 ¾ miles / 19 km
Ascent 1770 feet / 540 metres
Walk duration 7 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

The Glen and Birkscairn Hill

From Traquair Kirk we enter the beautiful Glen valley with its Baronial house frequented by the royals and the rich and famous. Past the manmade Loch Eddy, then upwards and onto Birkscairn Hill (a Donald) spectacular views are gained over the Tweed and Traquair Valleys. We then skirt along the ridge before dropping down once more.

Number 1.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Sunday 1st
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 9½ miles / 15.5 km
Ascent 1560 feet/475 metres
Walk duration 5 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Kirnie Law and River Tweed

A steep 150m ascent of Pirn Craig at the start of the walk onwards and upwards to the old mill reservoir on Kirna Law. Carrying on we soon reach the high point of the walk Priesthope Hill with spectacular views over the Tweed Valley and beyond. We then drop down to the old ruin of Priesthope and along to the Purvis Hill Terraces, thereafter a quiet stroll along the River Tweed back to Innerleithen.

Number 1.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Sunday 1st
Grade Moderate
Distance 8 miles / 12.8 km
Ascent 1800 feet / 550 metres
Walk duration 5 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Innerleithen Circular

A figure of eight walk around the historic town of Innerleithen which visits many of the important features of the town, including the St Ronan’s Well, the cauld and mill lade which powered many of the old mills and workshops in the town and generated the first electricity. There are fine views over the town from the Iron Age fort on Windyknowe and the walk returns along the banks of the Tweed and Leithen Water.

Number 1.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Sunday 1st
Grade Easier
Distance 5½ miles / 8.8 km
Ascent 350 feet / 107 metres
Walk duration 3 ¾ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring a packed lunch

Tasting the Wild, Foraging Walk, Circular

Following the old Minchmuir Road, where the hedgerows offer rich foraging, we will ascend through mixed forest to the moor itself in search of blueberries.We will see The Point of Resolution, by environmental sculptor Charlie Poulson, the ancient Cheese Well and the Minchmuir View Point, which gives a panorama of Border hills. The descent will be by approximately the same route, taking in a loop through woodland above Traquair village.

Number 1.5 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Sunday 1st
Grade Moderate
Distance 5 miles / 8 km
Ascent 1200 feet / 360 metres
Walk duration 4 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Tweedbank to Clovenfords by Torwoodlee Broch
A linear walk, on the Northern part of the Gala Circuit. From Gunknowe Loch and Tweed, the walk goes into Langlee Woodland for good views across to the Eildons. Continue across Ladhope Moor, past Buckholm to Torwoodlee Broch via the Golf Course. It continues to Clovenfords by farm tracks.

Number 2.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Monday 2nd
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 10 ¼ miles / 16.3 km
Ascent 1150 feet / 350 metres
Walk duration 6 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

The Three Brethren and Neidpath Hill

We start this walk at the magnificent Ashiestiel Bridge before heading into the Glenkinnon Site of Special Scientific Interest semi natural woodland, climbing upwards through good forest roads to the Three Brethern cairns with breathtaking views of the Border countryside. We then drop down to Yair Bridge and the River Tweed before heading upwards once more to the panoramic views of Neidpath Hill and then home for a cup of tea.

Number 2.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Monday 2nd
Grade Harder
Distance 9 ¾ miles / 15.2 km
Ascent 2000 feet / 610 metres
Walk duration 5 ¾ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Peel, Yair and Neidpath Hill

We start this walk at the magnificent Ashiestiel Bridge before heading along the River Tweed along good paths. Over the river you will see Caddonfoot Church, built in 1861 “…in fulfillment of Alexander Pringle of Whytbank”. Carrying on along the riverbank observing the local flora and fauna we pass the beautiful Yair House built in 1788 by William Elliot for Alexander Pringle.
Crossing over the Yair Bridge we then carry on upwards to the panoramic views of the Border countryside from Neidpath Hill before heading down once more to Caddonfoot Hall and a well earned rest.

Number 2.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Monday 2nd
Grade Moderate
Distance 6 ¼ miles / 10.2 km
Ascent 1000 feet / 305 metres
Walk duration 4 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Torwoodlee Broch and Meigle Pots

Starting our walk outside the Clovenfords Hotel with the statue of Sir Walter Scott, we head up-hill and along a broad elevated track – perhaps an ancient Roman route – to Torwoodlee Mains, then following an easy path to the site of the Broch – an ancient hill-top defensive structure. Beautiful views open up of the Gala water as we descend past the remains of Torwoodlee Tower. Crossing the busy A72 we head up the shoulder of Meigle Hill past the quarry and on to Meigle Pots, reputedly a secretive area for the Covenanters in the 1640s, thereafter along to Meigle Farm and back to our start.

Number 2.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Monday 2nd
Grade Easier
Distance 6 miles / 9.5 km
Ascent 650 feet / 200 metres
Walk duration 4 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring a packed lunch

The John Buchan Way

Some of John Buchan’s earliest works were inspired by the Borders landscape. This glorious west-east traverse of the upper Tweed Valley leads from Broughton to Peebles via Stobo, the Manor Valley and Cadmuir Hill.

Number 3.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Tuesday 3rd
Grade Harder
Distance 13 ½ miles / 22 km
Ascent 1950 feet / 595 metres
Walk duration 7 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Glenkinnon to Walkerburn

Head up from the small settlement beside Peel House near Clovenfords to reach Williamhope. Peel House is a Baronial Mansion built at the turn of the 19th century. The house had an important role to play in WWII. We will continue over moorland along the droving route from Williamhope to the high Minch Moor drove road; following the Southern Upland Way before finishing at Walkerburn by Little Minch Moor.

Number 3.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Tuesday 3rd
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 9 ¼ miles / 15 km
Ascent 1250 feet / 380 metres
Walk duration 6 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

John Buchan Way, Stobo to Peebles

Some of John Buchan’s earliest writings were inspired by the Borders landscape. This glorious west east traverse of the Upper Tweed Valley takes us from Broughton via Stobo and the Manor Valley to Cademuir and Peebles. We walk along hill tracks, farm tracks and minor road visiting Stobo parish church on the way.

Number 3.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Tuesday 3rd
Grade Moderate
Distance 7 ½ miles / 12 km
Ascent 900 feet / 275 metres
Walk duration 5 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Stobo Circular

A walk around the pretty and picturesque grounds of Stobo Estate in the upper Tweed Valley passing by the Stobo Castle Health Spa and their intriguing Japanese Water gardens and loch.

Number 3.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Tuesday 3rd
Grade Easier
Distance 5 ¼ miles / 8.5 km
Ascent 525 feet / 160 metres
Walk duration 3 ¾ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring a packed lunch

Wedale to Tweeddale

A linear walk in the Moorfoot Hills from Stow to Innerleithen via Lugate and Scroof going over Mossy Rig, Windlestraw law and Glede Knowe. Discover more about the different land uses patterns of the area with an opportunity for some fantastic views over the Borders and central Scotland and to observe the upland flora and fauna of the area.

Number 4.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Wednesday 4th
Grade Harder
Distance 12 ¼ miles / 21.4 km
Ascent 2400 feet / 730 metres
Walk duration 7 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Thornielee to Walkerburn via Windlestraw Law

Climb up through Thornielee Forest and then head out over open moorland to Windlestraw, a Donald. Returning along the ridge over Scawd law and Cairn Hill. An excellent opportunity to see upland wildlife and fine views across most of the Scottish Borders and beyond.

Number 4.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Wednesday 4th
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 11 miles / 17.7 km
Ascent 2830 feet / 870 metres
Walk duration 7 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Blackhopebyre to Innerleithen

A linear walk in the hills (including Windlestraw Law and Glede Knowe) high above Innerleithen. Magnificent views with an opportunity to observe the land use patterns and upland wildlife of the area and to learn about the history of the Mill town. On paths, tracks and over some rough ground.

Number 4.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Wednesday 4th
Grade Moderate
Distance 8 miles / 12.9 km
Ascent 1300 feet / 395 metres
Walk duration 5 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

The Glen and Loch Eddy

Starting near the impressive Glen House, the walk follows a gently rising track through the Border hills to Glenshiel Banks. Here we enter a section of remote moorland before descending to the placid Loch Eddy, then following a good track down the picturesque Glen to complete the circuit.

Number 4.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Wednesday 4th
Grade Easier
Distance 4¾ miles / 7.5 km
Ascent 525 feet / 160 metres
Walk duration 3 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

The Southern Upland Way: Galashiels to Innerleithen

From Gala Policies follow the route over Hogg Hill to the Tweed, then climb through Yair Forest to the Three Brethren cairns,then out along the Minchmoor ridge with fine views across the central Borders.

Number
5.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Thursday 5th
Grade Harder
Distance 13 miles / 21 km
Ascent 2200 feet / 670 metres
Walk duration 7 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Rhymer’s Walk

This pleasant walk visits the site of the Eildon Tree, the spot where Thomas the Rhymer first met the Faerie Queen. The tree itself has long disappeared and is now marked by the Eildon Tree Stone. This encounter with the elfin queen resulted in Thomas’ acquisition of prophetic power and he went on to make a number of significant predictions. The walk then circles the foot of the Eildons over Bowden Moor to Cauldshiels Loch (look out for water-kelpies). Return to Melrose via Rhymer’s Glen.

Number 5.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Thursday 5th
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 9½ miles / 15.3 km
Ascent 1400 feet / 425 metres
Walk duration 5 ¼ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Cauldshiels and Tweed

A long walk with some moderate gradients exploring part of Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford Estate, one of the most significant designed landscapes in Scotland. Walk up through Rhymers Glen to Cauldshiels Loch, then drop down to the riverside path passing the front of Abbottsford House and back by the Tweed to Melrose along the Borders Abbeys.

Number 5.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Thursday 5th
Grade Moderate
Distance 9 miles / 14.5 km
Ascent 650 feet / 200 metres
Walk duration 5 ¼ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Melrose and Abbotsford

Starting from Melrose and its famous Abbey we visit Sir Walter Scott’s Abbottsford House and then along the River Tweed, a chance to see the rich and varied plant life. With the Eildon Hills in the background we carry on along The Tweed past the old suspension bridge at Gattonside and then back to Melrose, famous for Sevens rugby at the Greenyards.

Number 5.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Thursday 5th
Grade easier
Distance 7 miles / 11.3 km
Ascent 160 feet / 50 metres
Walk duration 4 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring a packed lunch

The Trimontium Walk

A walk from medieval Melrose past the Abbey and along the Tweed Valley to Newstead, reputed to be the oldest inhabited village in Scotland. A circuit of the hidden Roman Fortress of Trimontium includes stunning views from the towering Leaderfoot viaduct followed by tea in the village hall before returning to Melrose.

Number 5.5 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Thursday 5th
Grade Moderate
Distance 5 miles / 8 km
Ascent 900 feet / 275 metres
Walk duration 4 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Tibbies to Traquair via Southern Upland Way

A traditional route used by cattle drovers, passing the ancient Dryhope Tower House, rebuilt 1613, and now in a ruinous state. Views over the Glen and Glen House, famous for association with royalty, and finally down to Traquair Church.

Number 6.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Friday 6th
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 10¾ miles / 17.3 km
Ascent 1310 feet / 400 metres
Walk duration 6 hours

Birkhill to St. Mary’s Loch via Herman Law

A chance to climb another Donald hill above the gently remote Yarrow Valley. On the high ridges where the shepherds tend their flocks we will cross over to the Southern Upland Way on Pykestone Rig. The route continues down to the ruin of the abandoned shepherd’s home at Riskinhope Hope from where we will descend to Loch o’ the Lowes and St Mary’s Loch.

Number 6.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Friday 6th
Grade Harder
Distance 6¼ miles / 10 km
Ascent 1375 feet / 420 metres
Walk duration 5 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Blackhouse and Dryhope Towers

A traditional route used by cattle drovers, part of which is now the Southern Upland Way, passing the ancient Dryhope Tower House, rebuilt 1613, and now in a ruinous state with views over St Marys Loch before dropping down to Craig Douglas.

Number 6.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Friday 6th
Grade Moderate
Distance 7¾ miles / 12.6 km
Ascent 450 feet / 135 metres
Walk duration 5 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Bier Law Circular

A lovely walk around the Forest overlooking Walkerburn and the Tweed Valley. There are many chances of panoramic views and some interesting historical features.

Number 6.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Friday 6th
Grade Easier
Distance 7½ miles / 12 km
Ascent 820 feet / 250 metres
Walk duration 4 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Peebles to Kirkhouse by Glen Sax and Dun Rig

Follow the Glensax Burn along this fine valley before striking out for the Summit of Dun Rig (742m). here there are great views across Tweeddale and a chance of seeing a variety of upland wildlife before descending down through The Glen following the Quair Water.

Number 7.1 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Saturday 7th
Grade Harder
Distance 11 miles / 17.7 km
Ascent 2000 feet / 610 metres
Walk duration 6 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Gypsy Glen to Kirkhouse

This route goes up “The Gypsy Glen”, following an old drove road, over Kailzie Hill, Kirkhope Law and Birkscairn Hill before it descends down into “The Glen”. A chance to see a variety of wildlife and some tremendous views over Peebles, the Tweed Valley and the surrounding countryside, 360 degree visibility including Ben Vorlich & Stuc a’Chroin, Crianlarich hills and Ben Lomond.

Number 7.2 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Saturday 7th
Grade Moderate
Distance 8¾ miles / 14 km
Ascent 2200 feet / 670 metres
Walk duration 5¼ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Peebles to Innerleithen via Dunslair Heights and Lee Pen

Starting in the ancient Burgh of Peebles following the Glenkinnon Burn into Glentress Forest famous for its mountain biking centre. Thereafter skirting the Forest along the ridge overlooking both the Tweed and Leithen valleys, before reaching the pinnacle of the walk Lee Pen and then down to Innerleithen and home.

Number 7.3 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Saturday 7th
Grade Harder
Distance 10 miles / 16 km
Ascent 2300 feet / 700 metres
Walk duration 6 ½ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Dundreich Hill and Northshield Rings

This route from Eddleston goes up an old track to the top of Dundreich for some tremendous views over the Lothians, Scottish Borders and beyond. The walk then goes down past Portmore Loch to visit the ancient “Rings” before continuing onthrough the wooded grounds of Portmore Estate to the Scots Pine Cafe.

Number 7.4 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Saturday 7th
Grade Harder Moderate
Distance 7 miles / 11 km
Ascent 1600 feet / 485 metres
Walk duration 5 ¾ hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch

Peebles to Innerleithen via Old Railway

Start at Kingsmeadow car park using the new access path down the River Tweed to Innerleithen. Good oppurtunity to see the Upper Tweed Valley in its granduer. Possible sightings of Osprey as we pass Cardrona Forest and Kailize gardens.

Number 7.5 (click to view map on ViewRanger)
Date Saturday 7th
Grade Easier
Distance 6¾ miles / 10.8 km
Ascent 100 feet / 30 metres
Walk duration 4 hours
Requirements Walkers should bring full hill walking gear and a packed lunch